My shiny brand new trailer that I was so happy to finally get ended up having some serious engineering mistakes. It was swaying pretty badly. I’ve never had that trouble with any trailer I’ve ever had before. Dangerously so with two horses in it. My salesman kept saying it was my truck and I damn well knew it was not my truck – it is plenty big enough to haul the weight. But I had heavy duty shocks put on it to help solve the problem on their recommendation and it didn’t and put a different receiver hitch on the truck to bring the front of the trailer up a bit higher. From the get-go i thought the tongue of the trailer was freakishly long. Finally an engineer friend did some web searchign about trailer engineering and we decided the tongue was too long. I had told them that from the first, but they pooh-poohed me. Finally we pulled the trailer with my husband’s 3/4 ton truck with the same two horses and it STILL swayed. When I reported that to the dealership, finally they started taking me seriously. I also sent them some information on the mathematics of trailer balance, and the fact that the tongue was 57″ long, when, by my calculations, it should have been 42″ long.
I used the word ‘dangerous’ in an email sent to my salesman and that was the magic word. They came and got my trailer last Monday (the dealership is almost 2 hours away from me) when I told them I did not have time to make another trip up there on the weekend (schooling shows and lessons) and I had no more vacation time to devote to it. They kept it three days, put real live horses in it and hauled it (although i told them it was a math problem and I didn’t care if it swayed with them or not – I wanted them to have someone check the basic engineering) and finally called me Friday and guess what. Not only is the tongue too long, but the AXLES are in the wrong place! They should be under where the majority of the weight will ride, and they were not.
Fortunately this dealership is the trailer mfg’s. largest dealership in the U.S. And we also know the owner from endurance riding. I had ordered a custom-built trailer – but there’s nothing real tricky about doing correct engineering on a trailer. For any trailer there’s a basic formula involving size of the trailer tires/length of tongue and placement of axle to be underneath where most of the weight will be riding.
So, they would not even bring my old trailer back to me (dangerous!) and brought me a brand new trailer as a “loaner” on Friday. They have put a rush on a BRAND NEW ONE just like the one I originally ordered for me (but I said, um, don’t be in too much of a hurry!) and it should be here in two weeks or so. (After waiting three months for the first one.)
Best news out of this entire SNAFU? i originally had wanted full length doors on each side by the horses’ heads. It’s called a ‘walk through’ design and there’s nothing exotic about it – they’ve been making them for years, although they’ve recently fallen out of favor (too expensive). After I had ordered the first one like that, the factory told my salesman they could not do that becaue the doors would be in the way of the the axles. I thought that was odd from the get go because it is not an uncommon design. But, oh well, they know what they are doing, right? Now I get to have my walk through doors because when properly placed the axles are NOT in the way.
They are SCRAPPING my $23,000 trailer. The dealership is also having to replicate all the custom work I had done on it once it was made and arrived at the dealership – about $400 worth of work.(hopefully they will be reimbursed by the mfg.) I asked them what the heck are we going to do about the title because the VIN #s won’t match and they said don’t worry aboutthat, they will figure it out.
Tthe dealership really did everything to make it right and I am sure the dealership owner had an interesting chat with the honchos at manufacturer. If something had happened he also would have been liable.
Sometimes the customer IS right, even when she is a middle aged woman – a middle aged woman who has been pulling trailers for close to 30 years!
It is a very well built trailer, and I am sure after the screw up, my new trailer will be one of the best they have ever built! It will be delivered to the dealership next Thursday and I will pick it up next Saturday.